Pies have been on my mind today.
OK, to be fair, pies are often on my mind, but today they’re even more so.
Why? Well, it’s largely due to Sean Malyon, the rather wonderful photographer who I’ve worked on and off with for the last few years. Yesterday saw us roaring up the M6 to Lyme Park, a National Trust property in Cheshire. We were covering a Iranian music workshop in Lyme Park’s chapel and were dismayed to find that the property’s restaurant doesn’t open on Thursday and Friday. On the way up it had all but been agreed that we would treat ourselves to a National Trust lunch or, at least, a cream tea.
By the time we were ready to hit the road and head home you couldn’t hear the car radio for the rumbling of our bellies. Food dominated our conversation and by the time we reached Alderley Edge we were making ourselves even hungrier by discussing the merits of the Great British pie. It turns out that Sean and I are both big fans of pastry products. Why had we never discussed this before. With almost masochistic glee we launched into debate about which type of pie was best, whether pies need to be fully encased in pasty and tales of past pie glory. Our hunger grew with every comment.
Then, I noticed a sign out of the corner of my eye. Horseshoe Farm Shop. I didn’t quite pull a hand-brake turn into their drive, but it wasn’t far off. Where there’s a farm shop there are pies.
We weren’t disappointed. The only snag with shopping when you’re ravenous is that you spend far too much money. Fifteen minutes later we walked back to the car laden with produce. My bag was straining with a sausage roll positively bursting with pork (to fill a hole on the drive home), Eccles cakes (just in case the sausage roll didn’t completely do the job), spicy spanish sausages (for tomorrow’s BBQ), lamb chops (for last night’s tea), a Bakewell tart (just because) and a steak and Stilton pie.
This I knew would be my lunchtime treat for today and, as my followers on Twitter know, I’ve been anticipating its delights all morning.
The wait was worth it. Crisp but moist pastry, melt on the tongue steak and strong, flavoursome Stilton. Wonderful. I did take a quick snap of it, before I scoffed the lot, but I’m not sure my iPhone camera does it credit. Sean would have done a better job!
And so, as I bask in my post-pie rapture, I ask a simple question – what’s your favourite type of pie?